Despite an intense turnaround effort that will include plant closings, job cuts, a management shake-up – and a flood of new product – General Motors doesn’t expect its hemorrhaging European operations to be back in the black until mid-decade, according to the executive overseeing that rescue effort.
In the near-term, losses are continuing to mount, $478 million for the third quarter, and the maker upping the projected deficit for all of 2012 to somewhere between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion. GM Europe has consistently run in the red since 1999, total losses now expected to top $17 billion by year-end.
But the picture isn’t entirely bleak. GM’s German-based Opel subsidiary has received strongly positive reviews – and a flurry of orders – for new products such as the compact Mokka crossover and Adam minicar, and GM Europe actually going into the black from a cashflow basis for the July – September quarter.
That was “a positive step in this difficult environment for a company that hasn’t had much positive news” in recent years, suggested Steve Girsky, the former Wall Street automotive analyst who now serves as GM Vice Chairman – and who was put in charge of the European turnaround early this year.